I’m a sap for sentimental jewelry. I love wearing pieces that connect me to a story, and when I found these sweet little Heart in Oregon necklaces on Etsy, I just knew I’d be wearing one soon. I bought mine last week (and I’m wearing it right now!), and I’m excited to send a matching one out to one of you lovely readers: anyone, anywhere on the planet.*
To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions in the widget at the bottom of this post.
Congratulations to winner, Irene W.!
Read on for tidbits from jewelry designer Amanda Senten at Freshy Fig about her jewelry design, her childhood memories, and her upcoming travel dreams.
Bethany: I see that you’re a fellow native Oregonian (high-five!) and a lifelong jewelry maker. When you think back to favorite jewelry-making memories from childhood, what do you recall? What kinds of materials were you using and what did you do with your finished pieces?
Amanda: I made Native American beaded earrings starting from the age of about 8. I would make earrings all day long and then pray my mom would have friends over for me to sell them to. I was a little hustler ;)
B: That’s so funny! When I was about eight years old, I used to crochet these little purses and then sell them to my penpals for $5.00 One friend’s mom sent a $5.00 check, and I kept in tucked away in an envelope for well over a year before I found out from my mom that it wasn’t polite to hold on to uncashed checks. Whoops! Lessons from young entrepreneurship, I guess?
So…anyway…which places stick out most from your first explorations around Oregon as a kid?
A: Honestly, the Tri Met buses are a huge part of my memories as a kid. Both of my parents were drivers so if there wasn’t a babysitter, I was ridin.’
B: Both! Wow. You must know the routes around the City of Portland like the back of your hand…
. From Amanda @freshyfigjewelry – I'm a Portland, Oregon, native and lover of dogs, Forest Park hikes and tiny necklaces! I've had my small business for over 5 years and have somehow accumulated over 400 items in my shop! These little state necklaces are so versatile – they look great on their own or layered with other pieces. You have a choice of a stamped heart or state name in gold or silver. Blank states without a stamping are also available in gold. I have all 50 states in limited quantities! Comes with a sterling silver or 14kt gold filled chain, starting at $19! . Check out my Etsy Page for all 50 states and many more jewelry pieces: www.freshyfig.etsy.com .
B: Your Oregon necklaces were recently featured on @OregonExplored, a great account featuring dreamy shots from all around our beautiful state. Do you have any other favorite Oregon-focused Instagram accounts you especially enjoy following?
A: I follow a style blog called @Lavendascloset that I really enjoy. She’s west coast based and just posted a photo at Barista on Alberta Street today. She seems like a very sweet girl with a beautiful eclectic style.
B: I love collecting and wearing jewelry that holds a special connection to people and places in my life. For example, I bought a silver ring in Cathedral Square just before I moved home from New Zealand in 2004, and I still wear it on my right hand to this day. Do you own a particular favorite piece of jewelry with ties to a special place?
A: I wear my dad’s ring on a necklace. He passed away last year and whenever I see the ring, it reminds me of the way his hand used to look wearing it. It was made for him by an old girlfriend, Tami Dean, a famous Oregon jeweler. She was a big inspiration to me as a kid and I was able to make a few things in her studio. So it is a very special piece all around.
B: Where would you most like to travel to next, in Oregon and overseas?
A: I would love to explore the Gorge area and Hood River quite a bit more! As for venturing overseas, Indonesia, Vietnam and South America are places I’d love to explore in the near future. My stepmom and sister are Vietnamese so I believe I’ll travel with them next year!
B: That sounds like a great list! I’ve been lucky enough to get to work in the Gorge lately, and I was just in Hood River two weeks ago on my way to a jobsite. I need to get back there again soon and just take time to unwind and explore…
Amanda, thanks again for taking time to share a little bit about your story. I’m so glad our digital paths crossed! I love my sweet necklace, and I’m excited to give one away to a reader. I’ll be keeping an eye on your Instagram account to see more of the treasures that you find and make, and I’ll be excited to see where your future travels take you.
Find more of Amanda’s jewelry creations and inspirations around the web:
Note: you can find several other states in her catalog…I’ll just be forever partial to Oregon.
*Giveaway open to anyone, anywhere on the planet, so long as they make mail deliveries to your neck of the woods…